Good People Doing Good Things — Little Things

With the exception of the first story, today’s ‘good people’ are all doing small things but … boy, sometimes those little things sure can mean a lot!

For more than 20 years, the nonprofit Students Rising Above (SRA) has provided low-income, first-generation college students with financial assistance, internships, career counseling and more.

Now, the nonprofit has announced another incredible milestone. Anonymous donors have stepped forward with a gift that will change the lives of approximately 400 graduates – providing up to $8 million to pay off their college debt.

Elizabeth Devaney, CEO at SRA, informed the students with a surprise announcement on a Zoom video call.

“What I want to share with you tonight is that anonymous SRA donors have presented us with a remarkable gift. It’s intent is to eliminate student loan debt for you.”

Students like Dr. Zachary Tabb, who graduated medical school two years ago and owes around $160,000, is now going to be debt-free.

“It’s life changing. I’ve had debt … really my entire adult life. And so, it’s just something that everywhere you go, it follows you … So… this has been nice in that way where I can sort of look broader in terms of what I do next.”

Law school graduate Kimberly Armstrong owes nearly $300,000 in student loans.

“It’s a shock. It’s amazing. It’s a relief, though. Once you start kind of setting in, there’s this weight that, comes off of you. Literally, it’s a weight lifted.”

What a wonderful group of anonymous people!!!

Ms, Ingeborg is a teacher of the Bavinck school in Haarlem in the Netherlands. The school had closed early due to the coronavirus pandemic, like all schools around the world.

“It was all up and running that the school closed. It all hit me like this. The children were no longer in school. And I miss them so much.”

One day while browsing Pinterest, she saw a knitted doll. Without any lessons, she decided she was going to knit a doll for each of her 23 students!dollsThe teacher clothed the dolls to each student’s preference. The girls who wore cardigans to school, she made cardigans for on their doll. The boys that wore sweaters, had sweaters. She even included details like freckles and glasses.

When the students came to the school one by one to collect their belongings, she gave out the dolls to the children, who were really excited to see them in person.

Ms. Ingeborg even made a doll of herself!teacher-dollHer students loved the dolls so much, Ms. Ingeborg says she plans to make them each year for her students.

Josh Crowell, who delivers mail on routes near Concord, New Hampshire, has been delivering hand-written notes with a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card to homes with graduation signs on their lawns.

So far, Crowell has handed out at least 25 gift cards.

“$5 isn’t much, but it’s something so that the kids can get out of the house and go get a doughnut and an iced coffee.  I’m not very well-off myself, but I look at it as, if I put a smile on somebody’s face, then I will do it.”

postal-workerNo, $5 isn’t much, but on a mail carrier’s salary, it’s a lot … and it’s the thought, the caring, that counts most.  He’s received many thank-you notes from seniors responding to his gift cards. One of the thank-you cards read …

“This year has not been easy for most, but I think being able to make someone’s day is important. … Thank you for being an essential worker, it means a lot.”

Thumbs up to Mr. Crowell!

Chelsea Phaire is ten years old and lives in Danbury, Connecticut.  Chelsea’s parents helped her launch “Chelsea’s Charity”  on her birthday in August 2019, when she asked party guests to donate art supplies instead of getting her birthday gifts. Says Chelsea’s mom, Candace …

“Since she was seven, she was begging me and her dad to start a charity. She was so persistent, every couple of months she would ask, ‘Are we starting Chelsea’s Charity yet?’ When she was turning 10, she asked us again, and we decided it was time to go for it.”

Chelsea-PhaireThrough her charity, Chelsea Phaire has sent more than 1,500 art kits — which include markers, crayons, paper, coloring books, and colored pencils — to homeless shelters and foster care homes art kits to give the children something uplifting to do when they’re feeling down.

I was thinking about this, thinking that I’ve never considered that particular need, and it came to me … it takes a kid to understand what kids most need!

After her birthday, Chelsea used the donations to send out her first 40 art kits to a homeless shelter in New York.  Before the pandemic, Chelsea traveled with her mom across the country to meet the kids in-person and taught them some of her favorite drawing techniques.  Now that Chelsea is unable to physically interact with the kids, she is mailing the art kits. Since March, when schools began to close, Chelsea has sent over 1,500 kits to schools, shelters, and foster homes in 12 states across the U.S.

A few weeks ago, as an addition to my ‘good people’ post, I added a “good critter stories” section and noted that from time to time I might find critters helping others, whether it be humans or other critters.  I was touched today by this crow who appeared to be helping a hedgehog cross the street …

Lately, I’ve taken inventory of myself and found myself lacking. Each week when I write these good people posts, they lift my spirits, but they also make me feel that all I’m doing is writing about those who are out there actually doing good things.  I no longer volunteer my time at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen as I once did, I haven’t rescued a stray critter for several years now … well, I really can’t seem to do much. Quite frankly, it has been a source of some depression for me, feeling next to useless in this world.  I was discussing this with our friend David the other night, and he posited that perhaps it’s enough that I shine the light on these good people, and maybe I motivate some of my readers to do some small acts to help others.  I like to think he’s right. Think of these people doing little things … let’s all try to find some little thing we can do to bring a ray of light into someone else’s life, shall we?

37 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Little Things

  1. Never underestimate the power of your words! They are read, they are shared beyond this page and they are needed now more than ever. To you it may seem that your contribution via this blog is insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but rest assured it is not!! You teach, you share your heart and you provide sanity amidst the insanity around us…that is no small feat. As H. Jackson Brown Jr., author of the 1991 “Life’s Little Instruction Book” wisely said : “Enjoy the satisfaction that comes from doing little things well.” Good People Doing Good Things provides a much needed brief respite from the uglier side of human nature that seems to dominate the news and command more attention. It is heart warming and encouraging to read about those, of all ages, who devote their time and energy to offer a helping hand to their fellow man. “Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” – Kevin Heath, CEO of More4kids. You always find good people doing just that! Thank-YOU!

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    • Awwww … thank you so much, dear Ellen!!! I think it’s just hard to believe that my small voice makes a difference, but … I do know that many more read my ‘good people’ posts than any others and I’ve been told there will be a mutiny if I ever stop writing the ‘good people’ posts. I guess I just feel my contribution is so small compared to others. But, these are bleak times and it’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole. Thank you so much for the boost you’ve given me, dear friend. WHAK!


  2. “Lately, I’ve taken inventory of myself and found myself lacking.”
    ~ I know that feeling, Jill. It’s been hounding me since the lockdown started. As writers, we often believe that our words mean little to society. But, words do matter. That’s why I read all of your posts daily.
    ~ I do believe that the little things we do to brighten someone’s day goes a long way. I continue to work on those little things.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, my friend! I have to believe you are right … there must be a purpose to what I feel so compelled to do. We will continue to work on the little things, and at the end of the day, we likely won’t make the history books, but we might have left the world just a little bit better by our words.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always maintain how important a Hug us but perhaps in these days of social; distancing not recommended. What wonderful examples of nice people the postie and young Chelsea are, so generous..Ms Ingeborg”s tale is sweet.
    You’ve brought on some good smiles here.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Jill, thanks for sharing these touching stories. Just picking one, the teacher who made the dolls is dear to my heart. These kids will be explaining to their kids and grandkids about what that doll means many years ahead. Thanks for all of the stories, though. Keith

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    • Indeed, that one was touching … a gift from the heart and the hands. I’m glad you enjoyed the stories … this is often the highlight of my blogging week.


  5. What you do is extremely important. It helps lift the spirits of others at a time when we seem to be lost in a dark cloud of despair.
    But I am of two minds about the gifts to the doctor and the lawyer to pay their student loans off. Don’t we take on a responsibility when we borrow money — to repay it as soon as we are able? And it won’t be long before a medical doctor and a lawyer will have more than enough money to pay off their debts. The money might have been better off going off to an English major or a history major who will find it difficult to find work after graduation.,….if it goes anywhere.

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    • Thank you, dear Hugh. I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right … those two in particular were not the best examples, for they are both entering fields where they should have no problem paying their own loans. Many others were helped, as well, so hopefully some were going into such underpaid fields as education. My daughter, an RN, has over $100,000 in student loan debt, because she changed majors in mid-stream, but we are getting it paid down a few thousand a year. I was very lucky to come out of college debt-free, thanks to a number of good people who helped me along the way. Even after grad school, I owed very little and paid it off within two years.

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  6. Hi Jill, you certainly inspire your readers. And keep our mood up despite the Horrors out there. My husband bakes all our bread and whenever we go to the hospital (unless its A&E and we can’t think) since COVID we give the nurses one of the loaves. I always say:” its for one of you who haven’t got bread or for a patient who needs it. It’s up to you!” We don’t have money to give to charity but we have enough bread and we feel its important not only to clap for the NHS but to give some practical help. Happy Wednesday despite everything. 🙋‍♀️🐝

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    • You and your husband are definitely good people, my friend! I bake much of my own bread, so I know it is time-consuming … that you share it is a big deal, and I bet those nurses appreciate it! And the clapping you guys do over there is such an awesome thing, shows your appreciation in a way that everyone can participate in! How are you doing, dear Bee? Love ‘n hugs!!!

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      • Hi Jill, we try. But we are rather critical of that clapping thing. To us it seems to be smokescreen covering up that the tories have taken funds from the NHS for years and are going to freeze salaries for NHS staff to pay for the pandemic. Not to speak of their impact on other keyworkers like delivery drivers. It fels like the clapping is a guilt trip for those who voted for them. But I also think it helps keyworkers to feel appreciated. It is very controversial for us. Thats why we give bread instead of a clap.

        I am ok. There are good days and bad. My hair has started to fall out and I struggle with this a lot. I know it grows back and I have tons of ovely scarves to cover my head but for me its a sign that I am ill which I otherwise haven’t felt yet. There is a f……. deadly virus out there and I am bothered by loosing my hair. Crazy ginger is all I am saying 😎🙋‍♀️🐝

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        • Ahhhhh … I wasn’t aware of the controversy over the clapping! I just thought it was to show appreciation for those who put their lives on the line every day. Sigh … everything has to turn into a political issue these days, doesn’t it?

          Now young lady … you have every right in the world to feel sad about losing your hair! Heck, I had a meltdown and cried tonight over a chair! A bloomin’ chair!!! Many things are weighing on us these days, and you are going through a fight for your life. Feelings are neither wrong nor right … they just are what they are. But now … I’m thinking … this might be an opportunity for you to break free and live it up just a bit! I’m picturing you buying a cheap purple wig with highlights of hot pink streaked through it! Tell your hubby he’ll just have to live with it for a bit … he should be proud that you’ve got that fighting spirit and that you’re not at all afraid of embarrassing him in public!!! Now, I am sending you the biggest, tightest virtual hug I can muster tonight. You WILL get through all this and … y’know what? You’ll be an even stronger woman than you were before, and that’s pretty damn strong! Love you, dear Bee!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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          • Awwww, thank you Jill, that is so lovely. My husband isn’t too bothered or at least he doesn’t show it. He is my rock in all this. And I’ve decided to make a thing of it: I am going to record the change in photos and put a post up later on. Currently I am shedding like the dog 🤣

            As for the clapping: I think it might be just us who feel like that. For the rest of the UK it might just be a brilliant uplifting experience 😊

            I hope you can rest a little. Sending you a big big hug from over the pond 😍

            I keep up with this one:
            Wiyaala – We are going

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            • I will look forward to those photos, though I know they will also make me sad for knowing what you’ve been going through. Your husband just wants you to make it through this dark tunnel and come out on the other side happy and well. And YOU WILL! Big thanks for that big big hug, my friend. Much needed and appreciated! Never heard that song … I like it! Big hugs to you … big healing hugs! 🤗

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